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Monday, 05 July 2010 03:18

If Bill Clinton Can Solve the BP Oil Leak, Why Can’t Obama?

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We occasionally get E-mails and comments from readers criticizing BuzzFlash for posting articles or commentaries that they disagree with.  BuzzFlash tries to represent a range of progressive views.  Our editorials and editor's blogs state are our official positions. We found this commentary from occasional contributor and regular reader Jacqueline Marcus thought provoking, although BuzzFlash may not agree with every nuance of it. BuzzFlash would be rather authoritarian and boring if we only published commentary with which we agreed on every word.

As the oil continues to gush—so too does our rage.

When President Obama did a photo-op with Mississippi’s Governor Haley Barbour, slurping an icy on the beach, while toxic crude oil poisons and pollutes the Gulf of Mexico, I wished at that moment that Bill Clinton were President again. Bill Clinton said in his interview with Wolf Blitzer/CNN 07-03-10 that the Navy can stop the leak by blowing up the well. If Clinton’s right, the oil leak could have been solved at the start—and that makes me fuming mad at Obama.

We all remember how former President Bill Clinton literally attacked problems with his intellectual powers and practical experience, unrelentingly, until those problems were solved in the best interest of the people’s welfare. Clinton hardly slept given his devotion to solving problems with the goal of getting real results.

When this oil disaster happened, I asked myself if Bill Clinton would be off to campaign parties, golfing trips, and fancy dinners during the worst environmental catastrophe in our history. Would he leave this disaster entirely in BP’s hands to solve—as Obama did?

I doubt it. The former President, and I assume Hillary, would not leave it all up to BP; nor would they be singing songs with Paul McCartney. They’d be on this catastrophe 24/7, allowing experts abroad to employ their technology/ships for cleaning the oil. Not that I have anything against Paul McCartney, but when our country is under attack, and our food, water and air are being perpetually poisoned from a chemical explosion of crude toxic oil and methane, singing “Michelle” at a White House party seems untimely and inappropriate.

In the CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer, Clinton suggested that the Navy can seal the gushing leak by blowing the well up. He lightly dismissed using a nuclear bomb saying that conventional weapons would work. Here’s a recap of Clinton’s points:

-The most important thing is to fix the leak.

-Send the navy down there.
-Blow up the well with conventional weapons.
-The navy could probably do it.

-Blow up the well and cover the leak with piles and piles of rock and debris.

-We don't have to use nuclear weapons.

-Unless we do this we are reliant on the technical expertise of the people from BP.

My lawyer friend who served in the Navy said the exact same thing when the explosion first occurred. He could not understand why Obama refused to make use of their expertise and technology.

Another very telling point in the interview was when Clinton joked that BP knows how valuable the Horizon is, to paraphrase his words, “because there’s enough oil in that thing to last a lifetime—and it’s all gushing out there waiting to go in tanks.”

Although he disguised this fact humorously, it’s a very revealing comment. It explains why Obama refused to kill the leak by allowing the Navy to do exactly what Clinton proposed: blow it up and seal it with debris. BP executives most likely demanded that Obama do no such thing since the Horizon is extremely profitable to them. Blow it up and it’s dead forever. It also reveals Obama’s allegiance to BP, preferring their decisions over the morally right decision to kill the well. Instead, the well is killing everything in the Gulf so that BP can profit from the Horizon in the future.

President Clinton observed that Obama finally allowed experts from abroad to offer their assistance for cleaning up the oil. The operative word here is “finally."

The former President was by no means usurping Obama’s authority—nor was he critical of Obama. He often referred to Obama as being “brilliant”. He came to his defense when asked about whether or not Obama deserved the criticism he’s getting for not being angry or emotional enough. Clinton said Obama’s getting a “bad rap” for that—but then he focused on the real issue: “Fix the damned leak first! Then we can emote as much as we want.”

What the Obama administration proved is that both parties, as Bill Maher put it, have one policy on the Middle East oil wars and on the environment and that policy favors big business over our welfare and environment.

Speaking of oil, President Obama should stop using the old Bush lies for the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. This is an oil war. The U.S. Government doesn’t spend $10 billion dollars a month, while every state in this country is going bankrupt, in order to capture fifty to hundred extremists in the mountains of Afghanistan. They’re spending billions of our tax dollars to benefit the oil and weapon industries. Think about that next time Obama tells us, while eating his two hundred dollar steak dinner, that we’re going to have to tighten our belts, slash public services, raise taxes, and that we’re in for some painful times from the economic fallout. Think about that $10 billion dollars a month and what we could do with it.

In light of our economic hardships, consider also the oil profit benefits, compliments of the U.S. Government: As Oil Industry Fights a Tax, It Reaps Billions From Subsidies Oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process. (New York Times; 07-04-10)

As for stopping the oil spill, there are no excuses for Obama. It’s unconscionable and outrageous that he didn’t allow the Navy to at least try blowing the well up to stop it. If Hillary runs against him in 2012, she has my vote.

Recommended reading from Buzzflash’s market:

The Tyranny of Oil: The World's Most Powerful Industry and What We Must Do to Stop It [Paperback]: A timely must read about how the Oil Companies are more insidiously powerful than any government and are predatory profiteers and destroyers of the planet. By Antonia Juhasz.